POLITICS: Europe will be stronger with a reunified Cyprus

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President Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday the Cyprus problem is in effect a European one and healing this wound will contribute to a stronger Europe, especially in the energy field.

"Reunification, a viable, functional and lasting solution that safeguards Cyprus’ independence…will allow it to further develop its role as an anchor of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and as a bridge between the region and Europe," Anastasiades told the European People`s Party (EPP) congress in Helsinki.

He added:  "As we endeavour to ensure peace, security and prosperity in Europe and our wider region, we must not forget that the European Union was founded on principles to safeguard peace, our way of life, democracy and prosperity, equality and human rights."

Anastasiades told the congress that "what happens on the eastern and southern regions has a direct impact on us… I need to press on the importance of reunifying the EU’s last divided Member State."

Referring to the unprecedented humanitarian migration crisis, Anastasiades said that "proportionally to its size, Cyprus suffers a huge burden due to its geographical location."

Dealing with the rise of violent extremism, terrorism, hybrid challenges and conventional threats we must accept the need for contributing as a Union more to our own security, reinforcing our strategic autonomy to be able if necessary, to act alone or/and, preferably, with partners, he argued.

"My main message today is that, with respect to our principles, we must ensure and safeguard the strength and unity of the European Union, while remaining relevant, effective and faithful to our citizens’ needs and concerns," Anastasiades said.

"Let us convince them that the EPP policies and their role are crucial, and that together we can work to tackle all the challenges we face. And I have no doubt that in doing so we will win next year’s elections," he added.

The 2019 European Parliament elections that take place 23-26 May 2019 are viewed as the most crucial ones in the history of the EU.

Cyprus problem concerns are concerns of the Europeans and of the European People`s Party (EPP), Manfred Weber said after his election in Helsinki as the EPP`s candidate for the European Commission presidency.